• Aug 28, 2009
Imagine merging into speeding highway traffic when your transmission suddenly balks at the shift, leaving you struggling to choose between that 70,000-pound semi filling your rear view mirror or the shrinking median on the right side of the road. This scenario is just one of the complaints being lodged against Toyota's 2001-2003 RAV4 as owners complain about the Japanese automaker's reluctance to acknowledge a fault with the so-called cute-ute's electronically-controlled transmission.

According to the reports (more than 120 complaints have been lodged to the NHTSA so far), the engine control module (ECM) may fail and send mixed signals to the transmission. Once the tranny starts to misbehave (noticed through rough or missed shifts), the ECM needs to immediately be serviced to avoid major transmission damage. Long story short, owners are miffed that Toyota has internally confirmed the issue (a TSB was issued to dealers in March of 2006), but has failed to notify consumers who are facing costly repair bills to replace transmissions when all many needed was a simple electronic module.

A spokesman for the NHTSA says the agency doesn't like to open investigations unless the problem is identified as a clear safety issue, but they "are watching it very closely." Toyota, meanwhile, is studying the issue to determine whether to extend its warranty on the parts in question.

[Source: NYTimes.com]


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  • 61 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ouch. Strike 2 (thousand?) for Toyota!
      • 5 Years Ago
      All automakers will have problems, how they deal with those problems is perhaps the biggest issue.
      Shame on Toyota for trying to save face and not solve the problem
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quality wise,

      Korean(Genesis) >= Japanese(Toyota) >> European >>>>>>>> American >> Indian/Malaysian >> Russian >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> African > Chinese
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You have guts to say such thing, all give you that. By the way, I disagree with you."

        Well that's full of grammatical fail. Autoblog, edit button?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Frank, actually there is another little secret when it comes to Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi made in Japan >>>>>>> Mitsubishi made in USA, there is a huge difference in quality between their Japanese plants and their Normal, IL plant which is backed up by statistics. Take a look at the new Outlander/Lancer reliability ratings and you'll see they are at the top of their respective groups, but anything thats made in good ol' USA suffers from reliability and built craftsmanship issues. Mitsus made in Japan are not any worse than their Toyota/Honda counterparts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Having owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse built in Normal IL and my former roommate having owned a Chrysler Sebring also built in Normal IL, I can attest to quality issues with American-built Mitsubishi cars. They're just plain awful.

        I don't know about the Japanese-built Mitsubishis but they better be much, much, much better built for me to give them another chance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What an idiot !! Genesis is just a high end model of the Korean Hyundai junk and you're making a model comparison to the whole brands like Toyota ? lol even as we're speaking now there are people out there still view Hyundai as a piece of junk. Didn't Genesis fail to make its sale target or something. Wake up Korean boy your Hyundai is still nowhere near Lexus, BMW, Audi, Mercedes or American high end cars, the Hyundai Equus looks just like another carbon copy of Mercedes lol, even the little flying decoration is a copy of Bentley. Jeeze man I have been reading Autoblog for quite some time and it's very annoying when you see people like this guy who is most likely to be Korean keep talking about how good Hyundai and Kia are and how they are better than Japanese and European cars, please ffs these people need a wake-up call. At the moment, those Korean junks are only doing well in third world country like China and India according to statistics, they only manage to grow little bit in North America because of people going on budget due to the recession.

        Ignorance is truly a bliss.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You can't be serious that European cars are, on the whole, more reliable than American cars, again on the whole. They may drive better, etc. but they are not as realiable, and then, when they do break down, they cost way more than American or even Japanese cars to fix.

        Also, hears a dirty little secret. It should be Toyota/Honda >>>> American >= Nissan/Mazda >>>> Mistubishi, Suzuki. I'm leaving Hyundai out of this on purpose. I didn't list Subaru because I don't really know how reliable unreliable they are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You have guts to say such thing, all give you that. By the way, I disagree with you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        9:32AM (8/28/2009), Mike7 wrote:
        "You have guts to say such thing, all give you that. By the way, I disagree with you."

        This is the Internet. You can spew all kinds of fecal matter. No guts required.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet this is related to the AUTOMATIC transmissions only.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @some1. There's nothing more I want to achieve in life than to help my credibility with you jackass. If I am such a moron what do you care where my opinions settle anyway. Typical caveman response. I am sure you have another well thought out response because getting a rise out of you seems like fun.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sounds similar to the Lexus ES and RX transmission issue, which Toyota has been stonewalling for years. It's another hit for Toyota's image for quality and integrity. Hyundai executives and dealers will be high-fiving all over the place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      All hail the great Toyota, errr....... wait a minute, maybe not.

      KC.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In their quest for world domination (producing a vehicle to fill every conceivable niche), Toyota took their eye off the ball, and allowed quality to slip. An ECM isn't cheap (according to discount part supplier 1sttoyotaparts.com, here's an example for the 2003 RAV4):

      Ecm, rav4, 2wd, auto trans, all 01-03 MSRP $1,121.18 Our price $822.34

      But the cost to their reputation, in terms of customers who won't come back will be greater.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's a perfect thread for all the American blue-collar kids, trailer trash, KKK and other luantics to play in!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well I'm black, struggling and lost a well paying job due to cut backs, and I keep up with the auto industry. Fact is Toyota's largest faults normally get less media attention that(Oh let's just say.....)GM's smaller faults.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "your an idiot..."

        I always laugh when somebody types that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, Bloke, do you speak German?

        You're welcome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Nice of you to say everyone blue collar is trailer trash racists. You sir are the one spreading stereotypes. STFU."

        I could have put money on the fact this would be the type of response! Incredible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I could have put money on the fact this would be the type of response! Incredible."

        Then I guess you should have had the brains not to stereotype people and keep your ignorant mouth shut.
        • 5 Years Ago
        your an idiot...
        • 5 Years Ago
        RMN - seriously you're falling for the bait hook, line and sinker!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Nice to see that chavs on the dole have enough time to visit Autoblog.

        Stereotypes can be so much fun!
        • 5 Years Ago
        as opposed to any recalls regarding domestics, which only attract rational, civilized discussions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lunatics, even!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Hey, Bloke, do you speak German?

        You're welcome."


        Hey, Longhorn, notice that you're speaking English?

        You're most welcome!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Do not even bother arguing with Bloke. The only reason he comments on here is to criticize Americans for using stereotypes, even when there have been no stereotypes made. All the while, he spews his own stereotypes about what he thinks American people are, and he never sees the irony in all of this."


        At the very least, the thread was diverted from the (incredibly predictable) anti-Toyota, anti-Japanese rampage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here's a perfect thread for all the American blue-collar kids, trailer trash, KKK and other luantics to play in!

        ============
        Redcoat moron, you also forgot English pikeys.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota just like all the other Japanese automakers are nothing more than JAP CRAP. I drive a good reliable GM and dont plan on switching my allegience to the company
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess Honda is currently the most reliable Japanese brand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      farmer0904 what have you been smoking?
      I may hate Toyota and all the other JAP CRAP. but i ll buy one before i buy that thing called a LOL Hyundai
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